Sunday, May 12, 2013


   Thank you to all who have commented in the last few weeks. I really do appreciate you encouragement. The class with Deborah Paris is still keeping me busy and I'll be getting back to paying more attention here after this coming week.

Here are a couple of monochromatic  underpaintings that I did in the last week.

 oil painting 11x14 inches

oil painting 14x11 inches

I've been concentrating on the local trees.  I was able to get outside this last week as the sun shined for a few days and temps were in the 50's F.    The deciduous trees are just starting to show some leaves, there was a dandelion in the yard and the slugs are back, so our spring is here, though now it is raining hard again.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Here are a couple of tree drawings I did this last week for my online  class with Deborah Paris. The first one is done with charcoal as seen from my window. I drew the second one on the one dry day from my car.  I've had to resort to photos or coping masters for the others.     There is a lot of reading assignments and I've been searching the internet for more information and images.  I've fallen in love with works by Russian artist Ivan Shishkin.

For the remaining two weeks, we will be painting.  And the weather is suppose to get better.... into the 50s.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


This is what it looked like this morning out of my kitchen window.   I'm really getting tired of winter.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


 pencil drawing 9 x 11 inches

For the last week, I've been drawing trees everyday for the Drawing and Painting Trees class that I'm taking on line, and I'm loving it.  The class is taught by Deborah Paris who is a tonalist painter.  Deborah's way of painting with oil is different than the a la prima approach that I've been working on.  We will start working with painting towards the end of the one month class.

All my drawings, so far, have been with pencil, a media I haven't used for a finished drawing in ages and I had forgotten how much I enjoy it.    

Spring still isn't here.  Though it was sunny for a few days and warm enough to sit outside and draw on Saturday, we've had snow and rain for the last few days, so I'm drawing trees that I see from my windows, and, despite the rain,  I've been walking in the woods everyday, seeing trees in a new way.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013


The challenge that I made for myself to paint 30 oil paintings in 30 days ended yesterday. I ended up with 25 paintings that I didn't wipe out or burn.  I can't seem to find them all on this computer (they must be on my other one), so this collage only has 16 of them.   

So, looking back on the last 30 days.  Compared to the 30 days in January when I painting watercolor, this hasn't been as enjoyable.  I was in my comfort zone then and was for the most part happy with what I was producing.  With this challenge,  not so pleased with what I did, but know that I have made improvement. 

I am getting more use to painting at an easel.  I've always drawn and painted (my watercolors and gouache) on a table.  I am left handed and write overhanded and usually paint that way too..... at least the small areas and detail.   I rarely use a flat brush with watercolor, almost always rounds.  However with the oils, I'm using flats for most of the paint.   I probably need some new brushes.  I've accumulated a few brushes, mostly bristles which leaves too much brush stroke showing on the gessoed mat board that I was using most of the time.  They did work better on the canvas.   My favorite brush is a softer brush that I got at a garage sale and the label is worn off..... not as soft as the old kolinsky watercolor flats and rounds that I've also used.  I will order some new ones.  It would be good to be able to see some in a store.  I've been studying them in catalogs and on line and trying to narrow my order down to just a few.... hope they are the right ones.

I probably should do some larger pieces.  I found myself getting out the small brushes and overworking with details too much.

As for color mixing.... it got a lot easier once I switched from the water mixable to the regular oil paints.  Maybe with a better brand of paint, the mixing would be easier.

So, where do I go from here?  I do want to keep on with the oils.  I am tired of painting apples and  painting from photos. I want to get outside and paint nature from life.   I have signed up for an online class with Deborah Paris called Drawing and Painting Trees.   She is a tonalist painter and paints in an indirect way that I'm interested in pursuing.  The class starts on Friday and will last a month.  I am already starting on reading assignments.   Here's hoping that spring will get here soon so I can get out side and draw.  I will continue painting inside though and probably a few more apples.

I want to thank the bloggers who have commented and given encouragement this past month.  I couldn't have done it without you.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

DAY 28

 oil painting 6 x 6 inches

I was surprised and delighted to see tulips for sale in the grocery store yesterday.  I've been wishing for  fresh flowers to paint for months.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

DAY 27

 oil painting 6 x 6 inches

This was painted from a photo I took while out walking last month.  We call the mountain Rink's Knob.  Up there on top in summer is spectacular.   Its quite a hike and beyond my ability to climb now, so I just enjoy its beauty from below.

The color is really off on this photo.... the foregound is too pink.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I got a late start today and decided to do Carol Marine's challenge (not the first time) to paint several  apples, each. in 10 minutes.  I spent a bit longer on each of these, but not by much.   I am wonderfully surprised at how differently the oils are handling compared to the wmo's.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


oil painting 6 x 6 inches

I am so glad I switched to regular oil paints.  The things I noticed yesterday are so true.  I am so easily mixing the colors I want.  They are the same pigments I use with watercolor, but the wmo paints never gave me the color I expected.  The oil paints do.  

 This is from a photo I took last week.  Its on a path, a short cut through our woods where I walk quite often.... I walked there today between snow showers and there was a lot more snow, though since I took the picture, the snow had almost disappeared.  Anyway,  I painted it on a piece of watercolor paper with black gesso.  I liked the way some of the black shows through on the bottom where the snow meets the moss.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


oil painting 8 x 8 inches

Yes, I skipped a day.  I spent two days on this.   It was the first time I've used Gessobord and I wiped out a few times.    The painting is of the road to our beach, from a photo taken one evening in summer as the sun was setting.

Yesterday, I ran out of water mixable oil (WMO) white paint so decided that it was time to switch to real oils.  I was planning to do so when the weather got better and I could open a window or go out side to paint.  I'm using odorless turpentine and there is no odor, but  I'm sure I'm breathing something that's bad for me.  But I think I'll continue with them inside anyway because I'm finding I like them better.  It's considerably easier to mix the colors I'm looking for.... maybe that's partly because I've been mixing paint for three weeks; maybe I'm just getting the hang of it.  It definitely takes less paint with the oils to mix with white, so the WMOs must have some filler in them.  And the real oils are of a better consistency..... buttery and just easier to mix.   Some of the WMOs are really stiff and very hard to mix.  The brand I've been using is Winsor and Newton which I read are not the best.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

DAY 20 and 21

 water mixable oil 5 x 7 inches

 This one took two days.  Yesterday I felt like I was coming down with a cold and didn't feel like doing much of anything.  I did get this started and today felt fine and finished it.  I probably could have fiddled around with it for another hour.   It is a spruce growing on the bank of a creek.  I took the photo sometime in the 90's at the same time I painted the watercolor below.

 watercolor about 7 x 10 inches

It was one of my favorite paintings  around that time.  I can still remember sitting there painting in late summer listening to sandhill cranes. 

 water mixable oil 6 x 6 inches

This one I started over a week ago from my car at my neighbor's.  I'd been hoping to finish it on site with my easel, but its still too cold.  I went over today and took a photo.


Friday, April 5, 2013

DAY 18 AND 19

 water mixable oil 8 x 8 inches

Only one painting in these two days.  It almost got to 50 degrees yesterday and I packed up my new easel to go out for my first plein aire painting with it.   I walked around for over 30 minutes looking for a spot with a view out of the wind and finally found this tree with the light behind it looking like it might make a good painting. I was in the sun when I started , but it didn't take long before my fingers were too cold to continue.  As it was colder today, I worked on the painting inside from a photo  which was quite different from what I saw outside.   I pretty much finished it with what the photo showed, but I  got that light area too light.... and the photo of the painting makes it look even lighter.  It almost looks like snow which is isn't.

I really enjoyed painting this today painting all those dead branches.  It would have taken forever to do with watercolor with a lot of negative painting or using a resist.  I think I'm falling in love with the oils. 

And I, for sure, love my new Coulter art box and easel.  I can get everything I need into a backpack and its not very heavy.  And it sets up really fast.  Now if it will just get warm enough to get out and use.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


copy of EDGAR PAYNE painting
 water mixable oil 4.5 x 5.25 inches

 I copied this off of the cover of Payne's book, and am continuing reading the book....much I've heard or read before, but I need reminding.  I was able to paint both of these copies faster than any of the other pieces so far  and would have done two yesterday, but I realized I'd been ignoring a few things like paying bills and cleaning my house.  It looks like today is going to be sunny for a change.  I'm going to go outside and paint with my new easel for the first time.

I left the horses and riders out of my copy.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


copy of EDGAR PAYNE painting
water mixable oil 5.8 x 7 inches

I bought the Edgar Payne book, COMPOSITION OF OUTDOOR PAINTING, last year but  I found it rather difficult to read and it probably wasn't the right time to really absorb what he says and shows. It's been sitting on my shelf for most of the time since I got it. I was looking at the blog of one of my favorite painters, Nathan Fowkes, and saw that he paints small studies of Payne's paintings and says he has "become a much better artist because of it."  I pulled the book off the shelf and decided to do the same.  There is a wealth of information in the book and I'm starting to read it again from the beginning.

I think I dd a pretty good job getting the value and color right.  This was done on a  Frederick canvas pad.  Everything else so far in the last weeks have been on gessoed paper or hardboard.  I think I prefer this surface over the smoother ones and  I'll work with it some more.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


water mixable oil 7 x 5 inches

I fell asleep last night before posting my painting for yesterday.  I do most of my computer stuff in the morning, so will continue posting a day late. I'm still trying to get these apples right.  This time I took a photo first and painted from my computer monitor.  I also put a burnt sienna under-painting on first.
I'm relatively happywith this one, though I'll work some more on the yellow in the apple in the front.

After a nice Easter day including a brunch where most of us ate outside, yesterday. we woke up to a morning of snow.  I guess we were fools to think spring was here.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

DAY 14

This is the first day of my challenge that I didn't paint anything.  After a brunch with friends, I took my pallet out of the freezer and went to the studio.  Then I proceeded to clean up the studio and make a  shelf for the little wet paintings that were all over the place.   I got the paintings all lined up and asked my husband which one he liked best.  He picked the the only one that wasn't a new one..... one that I did over a year ago.   Very sad.

water mixable oil 6 x 4 inches

I worked on this one off and on for a few days this week. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

DAY 13

 water mixable oil 3.5 x 6.5 inches

I started this after finishing the apples and knife yesterday afternoon. Its the view out the window.  I had a mixture of left-over paint that looked just like the willow trees in the middle-ground.  As you can see, almost all of the snow is gone.

I almost started another apple painting today, but I really wanted to paint landscape... and not from photos. I drove around looking for something to paint and ended up at my neighbor's house and painted some buildings.  It is still pretty cold, so I sat in the car.  I didn't finish though and will try to get back tomorrow to finish.

I was looking back at some of the painting I did last winter when I was working with the oils.  I seemed to be getting comfortable with them and showings some progress and then put them away for almost a year.  And here I am feeling like a beginner again.  Well, this time I'm going to stick with them or get rid of them, and I'm feeling more and more like I'm going to stick with them.

Friday, March 29, 2013

DAY 12

Another try to paint apples.  The one in the front was easy; the one behind it a different story.  It got wiped out a couple of times.    I haven't been planning my compositions much on these still lifes.... just concentration on getting the objects painted and adding the rest as an afterthought.  Next time, I'll plan the whole thing before starting.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

DAY 11

water mixable oils 6 x 6 inches

water mixable oil 6 x 6 inches

water mixable oils 6 x 6 inches

I painted these on Monday and Tuesday.  I was pretty happy with the one with the bowl which I painted first.  I thought I could improve on the pears in the second one and again in the third one, but didn't.  I do like the tablecloth in the second one though.

I decided yesterday to work on painting an apple and spent hours.  I don't know how many I started and wiped out and burned the three I finished in disgust.  This morning, after looking on line how some other people painted them,  I tried again with this one, which at least I'm not embarrassed to show here.  

water mixable oil 6 x 6 inches
This gets me up to the present time. There are a few more paintings that I haven't posted and probably won't unless they start looking better to me.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DAY 10

 water mixable oils 5 x 7 inches

I showed a friend my growing collection of little oil paintings yesterday.  She asked me what this was a painting of.  So, if you don't know, it's some trees against a blue sky. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


 water mixable oils 6 x 6 inches

This was painted from a photo I took last summer off the road to Bartlett Cove.  There were a lot of willow along the creek that I didn't put in.  I might try painting this larger. 

Monday, March 25, 2013


You might be wondering where the other 6 days went.  Well, I decided that I would stick with the original starting date instead of what I wrote yesterday.

water mixable oil  6 x 6 inches

This painting from last week was somewhat copied from a watercolor (below) that I did in January. Its painted on a gessoed piece of watercolor paper.  

watercolor 4.5 x 7 inches

After really committing to painting 30 paintings in 30 days yesterday I had a very bad day of painting.  The painting I'd done the day before needed more work and  I didn't succeed in making it better. Another start got wiped out.  I was contemplating putting the oils away again.  That's what I did last year when I was sort of getting the hang of painting with them and then got frustrated.  Probably if I hadn't  said on this blog that I was going  to paint 30 paintings in 30 days I would have put them away.  But I didn't and today's painting didn't get wiped out. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


 water mixable oils  6 x 6 inches

Well, my challenge to myself to paint 30 oil paintings in 30 days is happening.  Though I've painted something everyday this week, I'm going to call today "Day One" as far as my postings go.  I couldn't find the USB cord for my camera, so wasn't able to post any photos until now.  And at least 2 of the paintings done so far aren't finished, and maybe won't be  I do want to be able to post something everyday and doing it this way will take off some of the pressure.

This painting, done on Monday was from one of my old photos of Reid Glacier. I observed a couple of artists using water mixable oils at the artist retreat in Juneau last week, and they didn't use media... only water.  I had previously used Winsor and Newtons linseed oil made for the water mixable oils and this week have not.  It has made it much simpler.

I'd love to have anyone join me painting, and will appreciate any encouragement. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


watercolor 8 x 8 inches

I got home from Juneau on Wednesday and have been slow to get going in the studio again.  This always happens when I leave.... I just can't seem to get back into a good routine for a while.  Well, I'm here putting something on my blog which is a sign that I'm getting back in the groove.

I painted this still life Saturday and Sunday.  It took most of Saturday to set it up.  I sure wish I'd put the banana closer to the apple.... there's always something.   The Calico Fruit bowl was my mother's.  It has a pretty bad crack in in and I've used it in two other paintings, with fruit, of course. 

Although the weather was wretched in Juneau, the retreat was fun and  I painted a few little watercolors from the window and we went to Amalga Harbor on Sunday when there was a short break in the weather.  After I got home, I worked some more on the gouache painting that I've been piddling with for about a month and now its with another painting that I worked on for weeks and am still wondering how to finish.  I'm not going to look at either for a while.

Yesterday I got the water mixable oil paints out and  painted a small painting which I actually like.  And did another today which I don't like so much, but gessoed a bunch of mat board to do some more on.  And am at least thinking about challenging myself to painting 30 oil paintings in 30 days.   

Friday, March 8, 2013


When I'm not getting much painting done, my blog postings become few and far between.  About the only thing I've worked on in the last couple of weeks has been one painting which started out as a watercolor and is now covered with gouache.  The last time I worked on it ( a few days ago) I wiped out about a third of it.  One beautiful day, I sat in the car and finished a couple of small watercolors that I'd started the last time I'd been able to see the mountains.... but the snow and sky were quite different than that first day and both paintings were disappointing.

Each day brings me less motivated to paint, so I figure its a good time to go to Juneau for a few days. It's been 3 months since I've been there and I need to go to the tax man and some medical stuff.  And of course see my son and grand daughter and friends and shop. 

And this week end is the Plein Rein Painters retreat at the Shrine of St. Therese and there is a ferry today.  So I'm packed and ready to leave in about an hour.  So maybe I'll get recharged with some the company of other artists and a different scene.  It's suppose to snow tonight, but there is a beautiful view from the window of the cabin we will stay at.  I wrote about last years retreat here:

Here is a painting that I finished in December and never put on the blog.  It was originally taller with yellow buttercups in the foreground.  This was another gouache that gave me lots of grief while painting it, but I do like the finished piece, and this gives me hope that the one I've been working on lately might get finished.

  gouache painting about 6 x 6 inches

Friday, March 1, 2013


Well, here it is a new month.  February surely went by quickly.  My challenge to myself for the month of February included producing two paintings a week.  I can say I did that, although some will never be seen again.  As I've lost much of the momentum that built up in January with the 30 paintings,   I've contemplated stating a one painting everyday  goal for March, but there will be none.  I foresee much distractions from a steady stream of painting... including working on taxes and will be going to Juneau sometime this month.  

Right now, I'm working on a gouache painting that is larger than most.  It started out as a watercolor which I spent considerable time on and was about to give up on.  I know it will take a while to do at my slow pace with gouache.  I will continue with this painting before starting something new.

 Here are three small paintings that I did during the last couple of weeks:

 watercolor 7 x 5 inches

 watercolor 5 x 7 inches

watercolor 7 x 5 inches

The first one is of wild paintbrush, one of my favorite wild flowers.  The other two of of Reid Glacier, in Glacier Bay, painted from photos I took in the 90s.  The paintbrushes were in Glacier Bay too.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


 These are the twelve woodblock prints that I've made for Baren Forums New Years print exchange.  I began the exchanges in 2002 with the horse and completed the cycle this year with the snake.  In case you are wondering, the 2008 is intentionally backwards. 

I made the collage using the free tool at Picmonkey. Since they are different sizes, I first added a square around each of them with PS Elements so they would fit into the template.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Without the January challenge of painting a painting everyday, February has been a slower pace month.  I challenged myself to paint at least two paintings a week, and though I've done more than that,  only two of them are keepers.... at least for now.  More than a couple will get worked on some more.

watercolor about 9 x 5.5 inches

 This is from a photo of Lamplugh Glacier.  It was painted on BFK printing paper.... I think it's the "heavyweight."  After using this paper for my snake print, I tried painting on it and found it quite usable... in fact, very good.   I'll be using it again for watercolor.

watercolor 6 x 6 inches

One day I was really frustrated with my efforts to find something to paint from my photos and  I set up this still-life..... adding to the many from last month.  I like doing these, but am so much more wanting to paint landscapes.  Its either raining or snowing most days.  I did go out in the car and started 2 small paintings of the Chilkats, but clouds came and covered them before I got too far along.  That was over a week ago and the clouds are still there.
I started a larger than usual watercolor from photos that I've worked on, off and on.  I pulled out my water soluble oils last week and finished one snow scene from a photo (not so good) and started another yesterday, painting from my back window.  It seems I'm painting for the first time ever, like the learning curve has started over again.

I spent a few days last week matting all of my new paintings.  One of these days I'm going to start trying to sell paintings on line....... something I've been saying for a long time.  I don't know if any will sell, but it is worth a try.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


woodblock  print 5 x 7 inches

This is my 12th year of cutting and printing a woodcut for the Baren Chinese New Year's Exchange.    34 of my prints are sent out and I have received a few already.   I began doing the exchange in 2002, the Year of the Horse and this year I have completed the 12 year cycle.

I have been so into painting lately and it was hard to change gears and make the print.  And the subject wasn't appealing at all.... I hate snakes.   But once I got into it, I enjoyed it.  

I used three blocks..... the yellow and green were done with the same  shina wood block, and another shina block was cut for the red.  I used linoleum for the black (key block).

I printed the yellow block and then the red block.

And here the green printing which was a reduction of the yellow block to just the numbers..

 I printed about 50 usable prints, mostly on BFK, a few on shin torinoko.  I used some chinese tube watercolor,  sumi ink and methyl cellulose and printed with a baren.

The snake is a coral snake.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013


January is over and I finished Leslie Saeta's  30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  This is a collage of 25 of my 30 paintings.  You can see them over at my other blog.  It was a very satisfying experience and I was tempted to commit myself to another month of a painting everyday, but have too many things to catch up on.  And first on the list is my Year of the Snake print for the Baren Exchange.

Friday, January 11, 2013


gouache painting  9 x 5 inches

I finished this last month from a photo that  I took while kayaking in Glacier Bay, just west of Reid Inlet two summers ago. 

I'm continuing with Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  Go take a look on  Leslie's blog where she posts all the participant's daily work.... over 200 people are doing this.   Its day 10 today, and so far, I'm surprising myself and have painted a painting everyday.   I've been posting my daily paintings on my other blog, Watercolor Postcards and you can see them there.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


 watercolor and gouache 5 x 7 inches

To keep myself busy in January, I signed up for Leslie Saeta's challenge to paint 30 paintings in 30 days and I'm on day 5.  You can read about the challenge on Leslie's blog.  I am posting my paintings on my other blog,  Watercolor Postcards.  I hope you will take a look over there.